Recommendation 7

It is the Taskforce’s view that ‘freeing up’ geospatial data should be a priority. The Ordnance Survey requires urgent reform.  Recent announcements of cost reductions at the Ordnance Survey point the way to wider reforms. This reform should include at a minimum:

  • Basic geographic data such as electoral and administrative boundaries, the location of public buildings, etc should be available for (re)use free of charge to all.

  • There should be simple, free access to general mapping and address data for modest levels of use by any user.

  • Voluntary and community organisations pursuing public policy objects should benefit from straightforward standard provisions for ensuring access to geospatial data at all levels of use

  • Licensing conditions should be simplified and standardised across the board and, for all but the heaviest levels of use, should be on standard terms and conditions and should not depend on the intended use or the intended business model of the user.

  • The OpenSpace API, similar to but currently a constrained version of Google Maps, should become the primary delivery point for the Ordnance Survey’s services.

  • Creation of a freely available single definitive address and postcode available for the UK for (re)use.